Interview by: Sharlene Park | Photographs by: Grace Yoo
Hello friends! Today, we introduce to you 23-year-old Grace Yoo, a calligrapher who resides in the oh-so-lovely city of San Diego in sunny Southern California. Grace graduated from college 2 years ago with a degree in Human Development and Education Studies. More than anything, she loves God, spending quality time with loved ones, discovering new brunch cafes, and browsing through Pinterest looking for inspiration. Fresh flowers are her weakness and she adores anything with hints of gold. Grace uses her artistic skills to inspire and encourage others.
How did you get into calligraphy?
During my time teaching at a preschool, I worked with paper, crayons, and paint on a daily basis, which grew my love for creating and making art. I first grew interested in typography and started practicing modern calligraphy around April 2014 when I stumbled across other calligraphers' work on Instagram. I was so inspired by the simplistic beauty and artistry in modern calligraphy. What began as a therapeutic hobby has now ventured into exciting opportunities to create art pieces for others.
Why choose calligraphy over different types of artwork/hobbies?
I always loved writing in cursive. Since high school, most of my notes were primarily written in cursive. I just loved the way cursive script flowed, so calligraphy seemed like the perfect hobby to try out.
What about calligraphy inspires you?
Calligraphy inspires me because it’s not about me. Ultimately, it’s about creating something with a purpose other than myself. For me, that purpose is to bless others.
What is your style of calligraphy?
I would describe my personal style of modern calligraphy as minimalistic, clean, and slightly whimsical. I mostly gravitate towards long, smooth strokes, thin lines, and small, rounded curves.
How long did it take to master your calligraphy skill?
I still don’t consider myself as having mastered the art of calligraphy. It took several months to get to a place where I was comfortable showing my work to friends and posting it online. Insecurity is inevitably a part of the creative process, but I learned that there is freedom in encouraging yourself to accept the fact that mistakes will happen. Embrace the imperfections – that’s what makes it unique and interesting!
What do you want to do with calligraphy?
I hope to continue to use calligraphy as a way to bless and encourage others; to have the words that I write resonate deeply with my audience. I hope the focus of my work will not only be about its aesthetic beauty, but more importantly, it will be about the viewer’s experience in engaging with the meanings of the text.
Any tips for beginners out there or people who want to try calligraphy out, but might be intimidated to do so?
Just do it. Don’t feel pressured to have your calligraphy look a certain way. Don’t be disappointed in yourself if it doesn’t look “right.” It’s all part of the process! Make sure to practice, practice, practice. Find your own style, then really develop and grow it. Let it be a place where you can freely express yourself. Enjoy it!
What tools do you recommend for beginners?
I would recommend looking on Pinterest for beginner guides and tips on which materials to use. A great place to buy calligraphy tools is Amazon or Paper and Ink Arts.